Strength


It’s been a Pinterest sort of day. There are a LOT of quotes about how strength is realized after having been through something.

Some people get months and years to go from D-Day to divorce, I had 60…. days — not months, not years. Some days, I’m tired of pretending to be stronger than I really am. I’m tired of pretending that I don’t think about M, that I don’t think back to the past eleven years of my life. And some days, I’m in a good place, thankful for the strength that has shown itself in the past two months. Thankful for the strength that has been willingly given to me by my friends & family.

But now it’s a different kind of strength I seek. I seek one day for the strength to stop counting days since D-day, days since M left, days since the divorce was final. I also wish that I had the strength to stop replaying the image of M & her in my mind … images of her attending church with us, images of her having lunch with us… truth be told, I imagine it was more like me as the third wheel to them. I still have a physical reaction thinking about them “together.”

I seek the strength to admit that in the midst of my marriage, I ceased to exist and I seek the strength to forgive myself for letting that happen. Recently someone told me that I need to take care of myself like I was taking care of a child. I don’t have children, but the concept was not lost on me.  I would never let a child go to school without breakfast,  I would make sure they were bathed, and had clean clothes and that they had good, healthful food. I would make sure their physical, emotional, mental, spiritual needs were met, I would speak kindness to them, encourage them, etc.  I started crying as she was saying this because I have realized that in the midst of the past eleven years, I was so busy dealing with everyone and everything else that I forgot to think about taking care of me.

With that in mind, I’m going to resolve to let go of the thoughts that rob me of my strength and to be Ok with the fact that I can’t do anything to change the past but I can control today.  And I’m going to “act” as if I’ve got the strength I seek is already in me so that one day I will wake up and realize I haven’t added just one more day to my countdown calendar but that I’ve added one more day to MY life.

Picture 2

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Running Numbers


I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? Tom Hanks, Castaway

I’ve been asked a lot of questions, and I ask a lot of questions myself. We had a joke for it when we were together – you said I was “running numbers.” Well, I’m running a lot of numbers lately, trying to figure things out and having moments of clarity accepting that there are things I will never know.

You left me to deal with our church family and our friends. When asked Where are you? I now reply “You have made some choices and decisions that mean you will not be around anymore.” For a period of time, I contemplated simply saying that you had an affair, you didn’t want to reconcile and we are getting a divorce. I struggled with trying to protect you and I don’t know why. You didn’t have an affair, you are having an affair…we are still married and you are still with her. There is no effort to show me how much you are sorry regardless of what you say.

What hurts the most, the fact that he said those things on D-day or that you are no longer his woman? This one took less time to answer than I expected. It really is a combination of both. In recent months, your actions were more cooled towards me. I attributed that to your extra work schedule and the stress you were under while working two jobs, albeit part-time jobs. I didn’t realize it was the stress of living a lie. One of my concerns that I shared directly with you was that you didn’t make me feel like I was a priority to you. If you wanted me to sit next to you at church, then you would have saved a spot for me, but you didn’t. You wouldn’t withhold affection, you would want to hold my hand, you wouldn’t walk three feet in front of me, you wouldn’t jump at the offer of a friend to go hang out and leave me at home. So hearing you say that there wasn’t a spark between us, that you weren’t “in love” with me, that there wasn’t anything in me worth fighting for would have only been words if they had not been validated by your actions. So what hurts is that your actions backed what you said and that’s why I can’t accept your apologies right now. They aren’t just words to me.

How are you? (Meaning me) Well, at this moment I am (insert assorted answers.) At any given moment I go through a range of emotions. I realize that I’m like the Georgia weather…don’t like it? Give it five minutes and it will change. One lesson you taught me is an old AA technique: if I don’t have a beer right now, I can have one in an hour. I’ve applied that technique a lot lately but sometimes I can’t wait an hour and I have to just get through the next minute. If I don’t cry right now, I can cry in a minute. And the next minute, if I don’t cry right now, I can cry in two minutes.

Why are you paying for the divorce? Well, I’m not paying for it, but I am paying half. And after that, I really don’t have a reason.

How can you forgive him? Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

How can you not hate him or her? Love… And I don’t mean my love for him, but rather the love of my Heavenly Father for me. ….And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)

Where is he going to live? I don’t know but yes, I do care. The Lord has blessed him with a great opportunity at a new job and whether he succeeds or fails is up to him.

Are you going to move back to Arizona? Tempting but no. I have created a life here that will go on even without him in my life. And now maybe I will be the one taking the opportunity for the one available ticket.

Now what? Well, I guess I will continue to rise up each morning and breathe in and out and pray that tomorrow will be a bit easier than today and I won’t have to remind myself to breathe.